Talking Books

Thurrock Council’s Library team is reminding residents that, if they love listening to talking books, they can now hire them out in many different formats.

Downloads, MP3s, CDs may seem like confusing jargon to some people, but the library team is keen to let all residents know they are there to help them get to grips with, and make the best use of, the latest technology on offer.

Talking books, which are very convenient for many people – whether they are commuting, working at home, or just want to relax – are currently available in three formats in Thurrock’s libraries. Take your pick from CDs, playaways and, the newest addition to the family, MP3 CDs.

So what’s the difference between these? All offer the full unabridged story – no abridged or shortened versions – so you get maximum quality and value for your money.

CD: The traditional CD talking book has a minimum of eight CDs to listen to, so it can be difficult to juggle these in the car (especially if you’re driving), or if you have sight problems.

Playaways: These are small, light and portable MP3 players. They are ideal for when you’re commuting or on holiday, as they power up from a small battery (provided by the library). All you need to supply is the headphones. Playaways are available at Grays and Corringham libraries.

MP3 CDs: These are more compact CDs, and usually you only need just one or two discs for the whole book. The MP3 CDs also offer the facility to bookmark (remembers where you stopped) so that you can turn your player off and start it again from that point. MP3 CDs are very useful if you have sight problems, and are very convenient if you are driving (as there are less CDs to deal with). The only thing to remember is that they can only be played on a CD/DVD player, or computer, which states it plays MP3 CDs. The new MP3 CD collections are available at Grays, Corringham and Belhus Libraries.

Finally, as a member of the Thurrock Library Service, you also have free access to e-books and e-audio books from the library catalogue. For a full list of what is available visit www.essexcc.gov.uk/libraries and click on e-books and e-audio. Otherwise, search www.thurrock.gov.uk/libraries for a specific title. It’s time to join the digital revolution with Thurrock’s Library Service!

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